I help my clients with a range of concerns.
Anxiety more info
Attachment Disorders more info
Co-Occurring Disorders more info
Couples Counseling more info
Depression more info
Emotional Trauma more info
Family Counseling more info
Gender & Sexuality
Grief & Loss
Guilt & Shame
Hypersexuality & "Sex Addiction"
Individual Counseling more info
Intimacy Disorders more info
Legally Involved Individuals
Impulse Control Disorders
Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) more info
Relational Issues more info
Sexual Addiction more info
Internet Sex Addiction more info
Pornography Addiction more info
Relationship Addiction more info
Sex Addiction in Young Adults more info
Sexual Compulsion more info
Sexual Deviance & Paraphilia more info
Recovery from Sexually Addictive Behaviors more info
Sex Trafficking Recovery more info
Toxic Relationships more info
While we all feel anxious from time to time, those with an anxiety disorder experience intense, sustained anxiety and nervousness. They may struggle to keep jobs and maintain relationships, withdrawing from social connections and places that trigger their disorder. Common symptoms include excited, intense, and enduring fear or concern in circumstances where a person typically wouldn’t feel scared or worried.
Those who struggle with sexual addictions often have a history of emotional trauma and an inability to form healthy attachments stemming from childhood experiences. There are roughly two kinds of childhood attachment disorders: Reactive Attachment Disorder (RAD), in which children are overly fearful and distrustful of caretakers, and Disinhibited Social Engagement Disorder (DSED), in which they are overly friendly and do not know the difference between caretakers and total strangers. In adulthood, those who have had attachment issues may be fearful, avoidant, anxious, or obsessive in relationships. Without proper intervention and support, these adults may develop sex or love addictions.
Also known as a dual diagnosis, co-occurring disorders happen when an individual simultaneously presents with a substance addiction and one or more mental health condition. Co-occurring disorders often impact each other, so it’s important that both are treated in the same setting. Individuals often turn to drugs and alcohol as a way to self-medicate symptoms of conditions such as bipolar disorder or anxiety, but this only creates more problems. A comprehensive program can provide individuals with healthier coping skills and support so they experience long-term relief from these conditions.
People in relationships seek counseling for a variety of reasons, from power struggles and communication problems, to infidelity and sexual dissatisfaction. Effective couples therapy will address attachment issues, trust, physical and emotional intimacy, conflict, financial issues, and any other issues impacting your relationship.
I understand the importance of attuning to your process. We will work to teach you how to regulate their emotions and use healthy communication skills to resolve past and current problems. Ultimately, the goal is to develop a process and plan to enhance healthy attachment, communication, boundaries, sexuality, and trust.
Depression is more than a temporary state of sadness or feeling down; the condition can have both physiological and emotional causes, and episodes can last for many days or weeks at a time. This condition is characterized by a loss of interest in things a person once enjoyed, fatigue, hopelessness, trouble concentrating, feelings of guilt, body aches and pains, and even suicidal thoughts. Depression can occur for many reasons, especially if someone has experienced emotional trauma, and it can cause an individual to self-medicate with alcohol, drugs, or compulsive behaviors.
The result of many different factors or circumstances, emotional trauma manifests itself in disordered thinking patterns, feelings, and behaviors. Emotional trauma that remains unresolved becomes burdensome and damaging to the body, affecting a person’s livelihood and decreasing her ability to lead a happy, functional life. Recovery from emotional trauma is not easy, but it is extremely liberating.
Involving the entire family in therapy allows for profound changes within each family member, as well as the family system. We work together to explore family dynamics, patterns, and strengths in order to facilitate conversations to develop a positive environment and healthy interactions moving forward.
Individual therapy is an opportunity to process through issues which tend to isolate us. Whether it is a mood disorder, addiction, relationship challenge, trauma, or some other issue keeping you from living a fulfilled life. Individual therapy provides the opportunity to vulnerably work through challenging issues in a supportive, caring, and confidential environment.
Characterized by impulsive and compulsive behaviors related to sex and relationships, intimacy disorders tend to be complicated because they sometimes hide other conditions or are connected to different issues. I help people recognize the patterns of behavior that are not serving them and give them the resources and guidance to create healthier relationships with themselves and others.
Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder
PTSD is a condition that arises after an individual has experienced a traumatic event or the accumulated effects of trauma over time. A person’s brain and body become highly sensitive to stimuli related to the event or experiences, driving recurrent memories, nightmares, hallucinations, and fight-or-flight responses out of an ingrained survival instinct. The person reacts unconsciously to these stimuli, and therapeutic intervention and supportive medications may be needed to help alleviate the symptoms of PTSD. Trauma therapies like EMDR can ease a person’s overactive survival responses and help resolve the trauma that causes them.
We all have trouble getting along with certain people or have disagreements with friends and loved ones. But a pattern of maladaptive coping behaviors that makes it difficult to connect with others on a regular basis —romantically, on the job, or in social settings —can be a sign of ongoing relational issues.
Sexual addiction isn’t just a diagnosis; it’s a very personal struggle. The confidential and individually tailored treatment can help quick-start your recovery process. Some conditions I treat include:
• Internet Sex Addiction
• Pornography Addiction
• Relationship Addiction
• Sex Addiction in Young Adults
• Sexual Compulsion
• Sexual Deviance & Paraphilia
• Sexually Addictive Behavior Recovery
Internet Sex Addiction
Also known as cybersex addiction, and has been proposed as a sexual addiction characterized by virtual Internet sexual activity that causes serious negative consequences to one’s physical, mental, social, and/or financial well-being.
An addiction model of compulsive sexual activity with the concurrent use of pornographic material, despite harmful consequences to one’s physical, mental, social, or financial well-being.
One person “loving” another person with an obsessive intensity that is not in the best interest of either party.
Sex Addiction in Young Adults
Sexual behaviors can be particularly problematic for young men of the ages 18 – 25, frequently without their knowledge.
A compulsive sexual behavior and is sometimes called hypersexuality, hypersexual disorder, nymphomania, or sexual addiction. Compulsive sexual behavior may involve a commonly enjoyable sexual experience (for example, self-stimulation) that becomes an obsession that is disruptive or harmful to you or others.
Sexual Deviance & Paraphilia
(pedophilia, hebephilia, exhibitionism, voyeurism, child pornography use and addiction, sexual harassment)
Sexually Addictive Behavior Recovery
Sexual addicts experience tremendous amounts of guilt and shame over their behavior because they feel they are not in control and live in constant fear of being discovered. This is part of drives the addictive cycle of how to cure sex addiction; sex addicts will use inappropriate sexual behavior to block out the very pain of their addiction. Like other forms of addiction, sex addicts are not in control and cannot stop their behaviors, no matter how self-destructive and potentially devastating the consequences may be.
Sex Trafficking Recovery
Individuals who have been trapped in sex trafficking schemes have dealt with significant emotional trauma and sexual abuse. Some individuals may not even realize they have been trafficked, and many get caught up quickly in a system they cannot easily escape. These experiences leave wounds that need to be tended with expert support, therapeutic intervention, safe relationships, and secure environments. It is not uncommon for those coming out of sex trafficking to struggle with addiction or mental health conditions as a result of their experiences, and those need to be treated as well so that individuals can find health and healing again.
Toxic relationships are emotionally traumatic and also tend to be physically and sexually abusive. A person may not realize that her relationship is toxic — only that it consists of extremes which turn out to be the result of abuse and manipulation. Those who fear abandonment may have a difficult time leaving their partner, even if they know their relationship is toxic. Abusive relationships can cause the abused person to experience anxiety, depression, and other mental health conditions, even driving them to use alcohol and drugs to cope. They may also become used to unhealthy patterns and form improper attachments, leading to (or perpetuating) intimacy disorders.
Copyright © Stephanie Gulley, LPC, All rights reserved.